Aquinnah: Intense competition at the spelling bee

The Chilmark School Spelling Bee was held this past Wednesday, and man, was it exciting. Fourteen kids from the four/five class competed for the chance to represent the school at the All-Island Spelling Bee in March. A couple of kids were eliminated on each of the first three rounds. Everyone held steady during rounds four and five. Then it got tough, four kids were out on round six on words like “pounce” and “farewell.” By round nine it was down to four kids: Peter Miller, Charlotte Scott, Kestutis Biskis, and Rodeo Purves-Langer. By round 10 it was down to Kestutis and Rodeo, and they went head to head for 15 rounds. Three times Rodeo won in the two-person round, only to lose in the one-person round to take the title. Then it was back to two-person rounds. Finally, during the two-person round 23, Kestutis pulled ahead when Rodeo missed “dimension.” Kestutis then went on to a single-person round and won with the word “caterpillar.” Congratulations, Kestutis, and well done, Rodeo. Kestutis will represent the Chilmark School at the All-Island Spelling Bee at the MVPAC on Thursday, March 16, at 9:30 am, with Rodeo as the alternate.

Featherstone Center for the Arts is calling all artists for work on the theme of “protest.” It is open to all media. The show, “Protest,” will be up from March 12 through March 29. You can drop off work on Thursday, March 9, between 10 am and 4 pm. Work to be hung needs to be framed and wired. Artists can drop off one piece each.

Tonight the library will host a 5 pm screening of “Manchester by the Sea” at the Old Town Hall. Popcorn will be served. Story Time is Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. The Kids’ Craft will be on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 3 to 5 pm, there will be a Vacation Week Craft: Dragon Making. Also on Tuesday, the Book Group will meet at 5:30 pm. “The Bookshop on the Corner” by Jenny Colgan will be discussed.

At Pathways, this Friday, Feb. 24, come by for “We Dance” featuring world beats, electro deep house, and rare grooves” with DJ Keith Bassett K-OS and guest performers Tessa Permar and Scott Crawford. Also performing will be Men Who Dance, featuring Ted Box, George Cohn, Bill White, Scott Crawford, Wayne Elliott, and Bruce McNelly. The doors open at 6:30 and the performance starts at 7 pm. Pathways is at 9 State Road in Chilmark.

Come help shake up the Democrats: Meet with the West Tisbury Town Democratic Committee at its annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 am. They will elect officers and delegates to the State Convention in June. This year’s Democratic State Convention will set the platform for the next four years, so we must make our voices heard. All West Tisbury registered Democrats are welcome. Doors open at 9:45 am. If you have questions, call Paddy Moore at 508-693-1627.

The Howes House Writers who usually meet on Tuesdays at the Howes House in West Tisbury (UICOA) are on winter break, and will reconvene in May 2017.

The Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health (MVPH) is offering two free six-session series on “My Life My Health” for people 60 or older, or a family caregiver for someone who is 60 or older with a chronic health condition such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, depression, etc. This program is designed to give participants the knowledge and skills needed to take a more active role in their own health or that of the people they’re caring for. Join us at the American Legion Hall in Vineyard Haven on Wednesdays from March 1 through April 5, 10 am to 12:30 pm, or at the Howes House in West Tisbury on Mondays from March 13 through April 17, 10 am to 12:30 pm. Preregistration is required for either series. Register by Feb. 17 to be entered into a raffle to win a prize. Please call 508-939-9358, ext. 114 or email to register or for more information.

I hope everyone got to see the amazing production of “Guys and Dolls” at the MV Regional High School this past weekend. It was quite good with many wonderful voices, good acting, music and costumes. The show was directed by Brooke Ditchfield with Jan Wightman as the musical director. Chelsea McCarthy designed the costumes and Abigail Chandler conducted the orchestra. It was a large cast with many standout performances, too numerous to mention here, but everyone did such a great job. We are so lucky to have such talented teachers leading our young people.